Wherein I discuss the follies of an irregular work schedule and the start of the 9th generation (for real this time).
So, what happened this past week for me personally? Well, a lot of work for one thing. In addition to my usual routine, the office I worked for needed me to come in repeatedly this past week, first to help set up the IT furnishings in a new office, and then to help cover for an employee who had to leave work temporarily. This in turn meant I spent far more time working and less time doing what I originally wanted to do this week. Tackling Student Transfer Version 5 and doing a second wave of edits to my upcoming Wednesday post. Instead, I was either on a call with tech support, struggling to find the person in charge of this new suite, or working in a full PPE set-up in a hot room.
This kind of instability with my schedule, the simple fact that this sort of thing can and does happens, makes it very difficult for me to maintain a schedule on Nigma Box, because while I can thrive when my workload is light and my inspiration is high, I typically don’t feel like writing stuff after tackling an emergency. Or going into a hot room in full PPE and processing specimens from 8:15 to 15:30, with no lunch break in between. Admittedly, part of that is my fault for refusing to eat outside of my home during a pandemic and having the audacity to wear a long-sleeved shirt during November.
Regardless, this is why I am going to more or less abolish my Nigma Box schedule starting in 2021. Because I cannot work well with a schedule like this, and based on everything I have been told by my employers, things are only going to get worse!
On a less personal note, much of the news cycle in the games industry this week was occupied by the launches of the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. Or Xbox Series X|S as Microsoft and games media have taken to calling the systems. I was waiting to see if there was something big or massive tied to this launch, but… no, it looks like things have parsed out as one would expect them to. People played some of the games and liked them a fair bit, particularly the new Spider-Man and the Demon’s Souls remake. Scalpers bought thousands upon thousands of consoles, especially PS5s, and have started selling them for exorbitant prices. And everything appears to be selling rather well, as people were apparently hankering for new hardware and the ability to play… pretty much the same games they have been playing, but better.
Something I find odd about this new generation is how it isn’t necessarily selling itself on new games, better graphics, or key features that allow it to do things other hardware couldn’t. Instead, the key features and reasons to get these systems appear to be fourfold. They are backwards compatible with the prior generation. They support up to 4K resolutions. They support up to 120fps. And they feature far faster load times thanks to the addition of an SSD. All of these features are nice and appreciated, but when looking over them, their initial library, and their upcoming titles, this shift in a generation honestly feels less impactful than any that has ever come before it.
I do not necessarily think this is a bad thing, as I don’t want more intensive graphics or flippant hardware innovations that will be discarded amidst the annals of history like dual-screen displays or motion controls. But I do think it is interesting how iterative console generations have gotten. The shifts from the NES to 16-bit consoles was extreme, the shift to 3D consoles was magic, but after that, each leap was less impressive than the last, and after we had a half-step framerate and resolution bump with the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, I can comfortably state that this is the least impressive launch of a new generation.
I mean, yeah, the loading times are nice, but I have been using a PC with an SSD since 2015, so what I’m more shocked by is how abhorrently slow load times have gotten on consoles. I mean, I thought minute-long load times were a rarity and a sign of bad optimization. Not something common throughout the entire console landscape.
I suppose such a realization just goes to show how far I am up the anus of PC gaming, and how distant I am from the console likers. It is not a distance I maintain out of a sense of smugness or superiority, but because of how badly I was burned during the summer of 2013. When Microsoft announced that their new games console was all about TV and did not play used games. While Sony was boasting about a system whose most remarkable feature was how terrible its menu button layout was. Seriously, that touchpad thing is the stupidest thing I’ve seen on a controller since the VMU.
But even after seeing how Microsoft shifted its public perception over the past few years and seeing the PS4 develop a marvelous library, I don’t regret skipping out on either system. Because most of the games I would want to play on these systems made their way to PC, or will make their way to PC eventually, and because I learned so much by building my own PC. It made me far more tech-savvy than I otherwise would be, to the point where I have become the go-to IT person at one of my jobs. Now I can troubleshoot just about any old issue and figure them out 75% of the time, and I have zero issues swapping out parts from any old off-the-shelf PC… except for motherboards. Those things are a literal and figurative pain to remove.
…So in conclusion, the PS5, XSX, and XSS are all pretty aight in my book. Get ‘em if you want ‘em, and have fun playing your video games wherever y’all want. I’m gonna get back to playing my visual novels and writing my fictionz. Until next time, see ya!
Header image comes from Kanojo no Cosplay 2 ~Koukotsu no Mesuinu Choukyou!!~ by Kouji and kagami0235.